Cavaliers cruise past error prone Pistons 108-100
BY TIM SHIRER
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Friday night the Cavs (5-6, 1-3 home) returned from their four game west coast trip where they went 2-2. The Detroit Pistons were in town. (2-10, 1-5 road). This is the first matchup of four between Cleveland and Detroit. Last season the Cavs took the season series 4-0. The Cavs without Donovan Mitchell took care of business cruising past the Pistons 108-100.
The game was close early with 8:58 left in the first quarter. The Pistons pulled to within one point at 9-8 when forward Ausar Thompson scored his first two points of the contest. The Pistons then tied the game 11-1 on a free throw by Thompson with 7:39 left after he was fouled by Jarrett Allen. The Cavs regained the lead on the next trip down the floor 13-11 when Darius Garland who missed last game with neck soreness put in a layup off the glass. The Pistons took their first lead of the game with 5:52 left in the opening quarter on a jump shot by Cade Cunningham. The Cavs then tied the game on a layup by Garland with 5:44 left in the first. The Pistons scored the next five points to take a 20-15 lead when Kevin Knox II hit a jumper with 4:51 left on the first quarter clock. The Cavs pulled two within two points at 22-20 with 3:36 left on the clock when Max Strus deposited an off balance layup in the basket, Pistons first year coach Monty Williams quickly called a timeout. The Cavs tied the game 24-24 with 2:11 left when Strus once again deposited an off balance layup. The Cavs then regained the lead with 1:48 left when Georges Niang stole the ball and Craig Porter, Jr. hit a jumper giving the Cavs a 26-24 lead. The last 1:48 was all Cavs as they outscored Detroit 11-2 to take a 35-26 lead at the end of the first 12 minutes. Strus led the Cavs with 13 points. Cunningham with seven points. The Pistons dominated the boards in the first quarter outrebounding the Cavs 13-6. The Cavs took care of the ball better turning it over three times while the Pistons made five miscues. The Cavs outscored the Pistons in the paint 18-14.
As the first four minutes of the second quarter passed by the Cavs’ lead was cut to seven at 42-35 when Cunningham hit a floater with 8:44 left in the first half. The Pistons continued to turn the ball over with their eighth turnover at the 7:04 mark of the second when Caris LeVert stole the ball and Cleveland took advantage when Niang hit Evan Mobley with an alleyoop pass which Mobley slammed home giving the Cavs a 46-35 lead with 6:46 left in the opening half. The Pistons cut the lead to 46-39 with 5:46 left on a driving layup by Thompson. The Cavs took their biggest lead of the game to that point at 551-41 on two dynamic plays. After a missed jumper Mobley saved the ball from going out of bounds and Strus slammed it home and then after the Pistons turned the ball over for the tenth time in the game on a steal by Garland, he then finished it off by hitting a three with 3:26 left in the first half igniting the sellout crowd at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Pistons turned the ball over for the 13th time Strus stole a Thompson pass and Allen was all alone under the basket to put the Cavs ahead 57-41 with 1:09 left in the second quarter. The game was beginning to look like the mismatch it was on paper. The two teams headed to the locker rooms for the intermission with the Cavs on top 59-45. Strus led all scorers with 15 first half points. Cunningham led the Pistons with 13. Garland also had 11 for Cleveland, Porter, Jr. had eight off the bench for Cleveland as the Cavs bench outscored the Pistons 18-10. The Cavs were soundly outrebounded by Detroit in the first 24 minutes 26-16. The problem for the Pistons was the 13 first half turnovers which led to 18 Cleveland points.
In the early minutes of the second half Cleveland continued to extend their lead taking a 63-47 lead with 10:45 left on the third quarter clock when Mobley tossed in a layup. With 8:20 left Isaiah Stewart attempted to slam the ball and cut the Cavs lead to 11 but Allen was having none of it as he strongly rejected the Pistons big man resulting the Cavs fast break and score by Mobley on the other end with an assist from Strus giving the Cavs 65-49 lead 8:05 left in the third period. That Allen block seemed to have a positive effect on the Pistons as they outscored Cleveland 9-3 over the next 1:12 to cut the Cavs advantage to 68-58 with 6:53 left on a Cunningham three pointer. The Pistons continued to cut into the Cleveland lead and with 5:05 left Knox hit a three cutting the Cavs lead to 71-64. Then the Cavs lead was down to six points at 73-67 when Burks hit another three and the lead shrunk to just four points at 73-69 with Knox hit a short range jumper on an assist from Jaden Ivey with 3:46 left. Garland extended the Cavs lead back to seven at 78-71 with a fadeaway three pointer with 1:56 left on the third quarter clock. When time expired on the third quarter clock the Cavaliers led 80-73. Detroit outscored Cleveland 28-21 in the third. Garland now led all scorers with 21 points. Cunningham had 18 for Detroit. Detroit cleaned up their turnover issues in the third quarter as they did not turn the ball over once after 13 first half miscues.
With 8:53 left in the game Strus extended the Cavs lead back to double figures 87-77 with a long range three pointer his fourth of the game and first points of the second half. The Piston came back, cutting the Cleveland lead to 89-83 with 7:44 left after two free throws by Stanley Umude after a personal foul by Niang sent him to the line two shoot two. Cleveland once again extended the lead to ten points at 93-83 with 6:53 left when Garland hit two free throws after being fouled on a drive by Cunningham. Turnovers were becoming an issue again for the Pistons. After going turnover free in the third quarter Detroit turned the ball over three times in the first seven minutes of the final quarter. Cleveland’s lead ballooned to 12 points with 4:50 left when Garland converted one of two free throws to give the Cavs a 98-86 lead after he was fouled by Knox, his third of the contest. The Cavs continued to extend leading by 13 at 101-88 with 4:00 left on the game clock when LeVert drained a three. Detroit cut the lead to 101-92 when Stewart drained a layup with 3:22 left in regulation. With 2:30 left the Cavs sealed the victory going up 104-92 on a layup by Garland and ran out the clock to win the first game of the in season tournament 108-100 and move to 1-1 in the tournament and .500 on the season at 6-6. Garland led all scorers in the game with 28. Mobley and Strus both had 18 points apiece and the Cavs had six players in double figures including 12 for Porter off the bench along with five assists. Mobley also had five assists in the contest. Cunningham led Detroit in a losing effort with 20. The Pistons did outrebound the Cavs 52-38 with Mobley leading the Cavs with 10 boards. Three Pistons had double figures on the glass led by Knox with 11. The Pistons, who played flawlessly in the third quarter turned the ball over four times in the fourth, three early in the fourth for a total of 17 in the game which was the difference as the Cavs turned the 17 turnovers into 22 points. The Cavs outscored Detroit in the paint 56-44, but the Pistons bench outscored the Cavs 45-31, outside of Porter’s 12 points the rest of the Cavs bench managed only 19 points.
The Cavs will play next on Sunday when they welcome in the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets (9-2, 2-2 road). Last season the Nuggets took both games against Cleveland..
POSTED 11/17/2023 22:09